How small powers have managed to survive and conduct foreign policy
Small powers have limited economic and military strengthens. On the other hand, middle and superpowers have significant economic and military strengthens such as the US. Small powers have been able to survive and conduct foreign policy successfully by employing a number of methods. One of the approaches utilized by small powers is smart power (Whitaker, 2010). Smart power is an excellent combination of soft power and hard power. The approach is what countries use to influence other nations to fulfill their goals. The smart power approach is a more practical idea, which focuses on available resources (Whitaker, 2010). The approach analyzes the likelihood of success of the methods that are utilized to gain the support of big powers. Small powers have managed to survive by encouraging foreign policy with regard to international politics. For example, many small powers have successfully won the confidence of big powers by supporting a peaceful resolution of international conflicts, reducing poverty, and promoting initiatives aimed at improving democracy and liberty (Whitaker, 2010).
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The extent of the threat
The survival of small powers is threatened to a significant extent. Most of the big powers are not supporting countries that are not promoting their interests. For example, the US is interested in fighting terrorism across the world. Therefore, the survival of countries that do not support anti-terrorism efforts is threatened. On the other hand, the leaders in small powers have adopted a soft balancing argument, which aims at undermining, delaying, and frustrating foreign policy. Big powers also threaten countries that do not support their agenda by withholding support or disrupting foreign policy networks with those countries. Small powers react by forming alternative international alignments that could champion their interests in a better manner.
Discussion in relation to the interplay between rising powers, middle powers, and small powers
All rising powers, middle powers, and small powers strive to have a significant share of international presence through the utilization of various methods of promoting foreign policy. India, Brazil, and South Africa are regional powers that focus on promoting regional peace and development. On the other hand, regional bodies like SADC are involved in bargaining for power for their members with regard to world affairs. Although world powers aim at achieving more powers with regard to foreign affairs, different countries use different methods to achieve their goals (Chapnick, 2000). For example, China is a rising power that recognizes the essential roles that are played by emerging powers in the world (Glosny, 2010). China has strategically positioned itself so that it could reap from its cooperation with major political groupings such as the BRICs (Glosny, 2010).
On the other hand, small powers have adopted a smart power approach with regard to international affairs with rising powers and middle powers. For example, small powers have aimed at promoting cooperation and leveraging with world powers such as the US and China. The efforts are championed through aspects of international politics that popularize the agenda of nations (Chapnick, 2000). It is expected that China will benefit from increased levels of relations with small powers because of its willingness to meet their demands. On the other hand, powers like the US could underestimate the importance of meeting the demands of some small powers, especially those characterized by long periods of power struggle and acts of human injustice (Glosny, 2010). Therefore, the context of international affairs and foreign policy are changing due to the dynamics of small powers, middle powers, and rising powers. World powers improve their international relations and levels of foreign policy by defining their identities on the international platform.
Chapnick, A. (2000). The Canadian middle power myth. International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis, 55(2), 188-206.
Glosny, M. A. (2010). China and the BRICs: A Real (but Limited) Partnership in a Unipolar World*. Polity, 42(1), 100-129.
Whitaker, B. E. (2010). Soft balancing among weak states? Evidence from Africa. International Affairs, 86(5), 1109-1127.
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